ALBANY, N.Y.-- University at Albany captured the program's first America East Field Hockey Championship Crown since joining the conference in 2001 after defeating University of New Hampshire, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at a blustery Alumni Turf Field in Albany. The Great Danes will represent the conference in the NCAA Field Hockey Championship and will discover who their first opponent will be during the selection show streamed live at NCAA.com Tuesday, November 11 at 8 p.m. EST.
The Great Danes got to work quickly, scoring the first goal of the game in the fifth minute. Junior Nicole Savage put one of her game-high five shots into the lower right corner of the New Hampshire cage after dribbling in from the left-side base line. The Wildcats, playing in their first title game since 2000, applied sustained pressure on their offensive end following the Albany goal, earning three penalty corners and firing six shots. New Hampshire's intensity paid off as America East Offensive Player of the Year Sarah Craigue took a feed from freshman Whitney Frates and scored the equalizer with about six minutes left in the first period.
In the second half, Albany took control, reeling off six penalty corners to New Hampshire's zero, and nine goals to the Wildcats' one. The Great Danes finally broke through at 60:49 on a penalty corner. Junior Jess Lindsey inserted the ball to senior Michelle Simpson who placed a hard shot on the ground and past New Hampshire goalkeeper Jenna Lehman.
New Hampshire played the final five minutes up one player due to an Albany yellow card, but the Wildcats' couldn't get a shot off of any kind before time expired.
Albany senior goalkeeper Ashley Ross was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. She made one save on Sunday and three for the tournament, with just one goal against. Teammates Savage, Simpson and Michele Polizois were also named to the All-Championship Team, along with New Hampshire's Craigue, Frates and Meg Shea.
2008 America East Field Hockey Championship
Friday, November 7 - semifinals
No. 1 Albany 1, No. 4 Boston University 0
No. 2 New Hampshire 3, No. 3 Maine 2 (ot)
Albany 2, New Hampshire 1
2008 America East All-Championship Team
|Ashley Ross, Albany *** Most Outstanding Player***|
| Michelle Simpson, Albany|
| Michele Polizois, Albany|
| Nicole Savage, Albany|
| Sarah Craigue, New Hampshire|
| Whitney Frates, New Hampshire|
| Meg Shea, New Hampshire|
| Brittany Fleck, Maine|
| Maire Dineen, Maine|
| Holly Wiles, Boston University|
|Lizzie Perreault, Boston University|